Caddo Parish Courthouse
500 Texas Street, Shreveport
The home of Thomas Wallace on Wallace Lake briefly
served as the meeting place for the district court and
the temporary government following the creation of Caddo
Parish in 1838.
The parish used a structure at the corner
of Texas and Market Streets in 1840, but in April of
1855 the courthouse was sold at a sheriff’s sale.
Subsequently the parish rented a structure in the 500
Market Street from
Ephraim C. Hart for use as the courthouse.
Waldman and Collins constructed the two-story colonial
style courthouse on this site in 1860.
The courthouse saw three sessions of the state
became the state capitol.
Ten years later the structure was deemed unsafe and
meetings there ceased.
The structure, however, was not demolished until 1889.
second courthouse was built on the same site as the
It was completed in 1892 in the Romanesque Revival style
for a total cost of $86,000.
The base of the building was granite on a concrete
foundation with walls of Philadelphia pressed brick
trimmed with granite, covered by a slate roof. In 1907
the courthouse was enlarged with two wings.
The jail, located on the McNeill Street side of the
courthouse, was demolished and a new one was constructed
on Milam and McNeill Streets.
William Jennings Bryan spoke from the steps of the 1892
courthouse in 1900 when he toured the nation campaigning
unsuccessfully as the Democratic presidential candidate.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy erected the
Confederate monument on the courthouse lawn in 1905.
live oaks on the courthouse lawn are believed to have
descended from trees in New Orleans parks. In about 1903
Thomas Fletcher Bell, a Caddo District Court judge,
bought the seedlings, and most of the twenty-four that
were planted survived. In 1943 the Police Jury suggested
cutting down the trees because of the birds, but
The Edward F. Neild
firm designed the present courthouse, and the Glassell-Wilson
firm constructed it. The official dedication occurred on
April 21, 1928. Taxpayers had a five-year,
two-and-one-quarter mill tax which paid for
construction, which cost $1,250,000.
Arches line the top floor of the structure and frame the
central entrances. Ionic columns, exterior carvings, and
Art Deco features are visible on the Indiana limestone
exterior. Additions have been made to the structure, but
it retains its symmetrical appearance. Harry Truman,
then a county judge, was thoroughly impressed with the
courthouse and hired Edward F. Neild as a consulting
architect for the courthouses in Independence and Kansas
City, Missouri. The latter courthouse closely resembles
the structure in Shreveport. As president, Truman hired
Neild for the reconstruction of the White House and then
for the construction of the Truman Library in
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